Elected Public Officials Issue Neuropathy Awareness Week Proclamations

May 13, 2013

Since the launch of The Neuropathy Association’s campaign in March 2013 aimed at getting the community to request Neuropathy Awareness Week proclamations from elected public officials and raising neuropathy’s profile while also encouraging the media to focus on neuropathy, several proclamations have been issued by:

Proclamation 2013

 - Sample proclamation for Neuropathy 
Awareness Week;

- Sample letter requesting a proclamation
from your elected public
official; and

- Sample press release for proclamation. 

Support Your #1 Cause: The 
Fight Against Neuropathy!

- Tampa (FL) Mayor Bob Buckhorn, at the urging of our Tampa-based neuropathy support group;

- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, at the urging of Martin Dempsey (a member in our community);

- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, at the urging of Andy Hyland (with our Kansas University Neuropathy Center of Excellence);

- Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, at the urging of support group leader Leslie MacGregor Levine;

- Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, at the urging of Julia Martin (a Las Vegas-based member in our community);

- West Caldwell (NJ) Mayor Joseph Tempesta, at the urging of support group leader Mary Robertson;

- Texas Governor Rick Perry, at the urging of support group leader Bill Thomas;

- Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, at the urging of Mr. Paul Maziarz (a member in our community);

- West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, at the urging of Jerry Mays (a Martinsburg-based member in our community).

While we were unable to get a proclamation issued by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, we did receive a mayoral message.

Getting a proclamation for neuropathy with the help of our elected public officials is a great way to raise neuropathy’s profile in your community. It is also a great opportunity to encourage the media to focus on this disabling neurological disease affecting over 20,000,000 people across the U.S.

So, how do you go about requesting a proclamation? Issuing a proclamation is a straightforward process, and most elected officials are happy to accommodate their constituents’ requests. Whether individually or through your local neuropathy support group, you can follow these steps to get a proclamation issued at the state or local level:

Step 1: Research the proclamation process in your state or local community

Whether at the state or in your local community, it is important to start researching and working towards getting a neuropathy proclamation issued. Investigate the process to request a proclamation; some government websites have a proclamation request form that you can submit electronically. You can also call your governor’s or mayor’s office to learn about the procedure for having a proclamation issued. Be sure to also ask if there was a neuropathy proclamation issued in previous years that you can re-submit (several of our neuropathy support group and chapter leaders have submitted proclamations in the past).

Step 2: Contact your public officials

Now that you have identified the point of contact at your governor’s or mayor’s or state senator’s office and have reviewed the procedure for making a proclamation request, you can customize the following samples:

- Sample proclamation for Neuropathy Awareness Week; and

- Sample letter requesting a proclamation from your elected public official.

Step 3: Follow up Be sure to follow-up with your public official’s office by phone a week after you submit your proclamation request. You can also offer to meet with them to answer any of their questions and request their timeline on the proclamation request, emphasizing Neuropathy Awareness Week’s relevance for you and the more than 20,000,000 Americans battling neuropathy.

Step 4: Publicize the proclamation

With the proclamation issued, publicizing it is a great way to raise awareness for neuropathy in your community. You can customize the following press release sample and share it with local media representatives at television, newspaper, and radio stations. Be sure to include:

1). why the proclamation was issued and who issued it;

2). information about The Neuropathy Association;

3). some factoids about neuropathy and why it’s critical to raise awareness of neuropathy; and

4). a quote from the government official signing the proclamation, from The Neuropathy Association, and/or from people affected by neuropathy in your community.

- Sample press release for proclamation

If you plan to present the signed proclamation at a public event, invite the media to report on it. You can also invite public officials to your event and publicly recognize them for their role in issuing the proclamation. Be sure to ask your public officials to display the proclamation in their offices and on their websites. You can also send the proclamation to all your personal contacts and social media groups, explaining why this proclamation is important to you and millions battling neuropathy. In some cases, the public official may have an opportunity to read the proclamation as part of their regular schedule of public events—ask if your local support group can attend to represent the people living with neuropathy.

Step 5: Send a “thank you” note

Be sure to send a “thank you” note to all who helped you issue the proclamation.

Be sure to also let The Neuropathy Association know about the proclamation and share any photo opportunities and press releases from the event so we can share your good news and accomplishments with our greater community. 


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